REVIEW: HAUS OF EDWARDS Live in Sydney at Oxford Art Factory 4/4/2015

Haus of Edwards featuring Alyssa Edwards, Shangela & Laganja Estranja.

Haud Of edwards

“Because I am what? Sickening!”

To begin if you are thinking about seeing Haus of Edwards… do it! These ladies know how to put on a god damn show.

Haus of Edwards is Alyssa Edwards (season 5 of Rupauls Drag Race) who is drag mother to both Shangela (Drag Race season 2 & 3) and Laganja Estranja (Drag Race season 6), so to begin the show they did a group performance of Jessie J, Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj’s Bang Bang. An amazing way to start the show super high energy, fun choreography and bright matching outfits.

After a quick costume change break Laganja took to the stage to perform solo, now Laganja had a pretty hard time after season 6 of Rupaul’s Drag Race aired, but all of those preconceived notions about her are wiped away when she performs. She performed Iggy Azalea’s Murder Bizness and it was amazing, death drops and jump splits galore, what a dancer! Truly jaw dropping and it got the crowd pumped up. Thank god I didn’t stop recording this performance or I would have missed some killer moves, I was so close I thought I’d get a stiletto in the eye. Check out the performance in all its glory here:

Next out was Shangela and there was many a halleloo hollered. As a fan of Dance Moms I was excited to see Shangela perform her song that featured on the show Werqin Girl (Professional). Shangela out danced those Dance Moms girls, she left everything on that stage, super high energy and hard hitting. She then performed her new single Uptown Fish which goes to the tune of Bruno Mars’ Uptown Funk, she performed it live and that girl can sing live. Obligatory promo: Uptown Fish is now available on iTunes.

Then it was time for mother to come out. Alyssa Edwards commands attention when she walks on that stage. She is a fierce lip syncher and performer, she did a Christina/Britney pop mash up and it was everything I could have hoped for. She had some great on stage banter telling the crowd how she met Shangela and Laganja, and you got a real sense of family and love within the group. Someone in the crowd yelled out ‘back rolls’, to which she told an amazing story about how another queen said that to her and she responded with “I took those back rolls and made them into bank rolls” and she grabbed her clutch and walked out of the room. Alyssa is a true diva, but totally approachable and loveable.

The energy of the show didn’t stop when Laganja came back with a costume change and new wig (that looked just like my current hair colour) and performed her songs Legs (I assume also available on iTunes). Once again it was a give everything performance from Laganja, who seemed thrilled to be performing her own music, so I imagine we will see more music from Laganja in the future.

Laganja talked to the audience about how he has been sober for the last 6 months, telling the crowd how the backlash from Drag Race was a tough time for him and it led him to some dark times. I think a lot of people watch reality shows at face value and forget about the real people that are going through a very stressful, fast paced and almost unnatural environment. And these children of the internet can be extremely critical and harsh through social media. So it was good to see Laganja doing well, performing amazingly and speaking openly about it.

Next was a little trivia game with audience members that I honestly could have done without, but I’m guessing it was done to take up time for costume changes.

Laganja legs

Then it was Shangela’s mega mega MEGA Beyonce medley that must have gone for nearly 10 minutes, I can’t even list the songs there was so many. Being front of stage has its perks like when Shangela sang to me, dropped down low while holding my head and then brushed her hand across my cheek, what a beautiful moment that was, thank you Shangela (my friend luckily recorded it, in the video I’m the green/blue haired girl). Once again a high high energy performance, you can tell Shangela is an all round actress, she lives to perform on stage and she was back in her stilettos no signs that there is a steel rod in her leg (after she broke it from a death drop), she even did a death drop.

The whole Haus of Edwards came out and gave their thanks to the crowd who cheered and sang along to their performances. The crowd had a great energy for the show and you could feel that vibe in the venue, I think Oxford Art Factory is a great venue for these shows.

Only criticism of the night is that (not surprisingly) it didn’t run to schedule at all. I don’t know what the best solution is for the touring company for meet and greets (I didn’t have one this time), but that ran late so then the show started much later than scheduled, but then you don’t want people to be rushed through their m&g.

Whenever the shows run late you start to see in the crowd people not dancing just standing around on their phones or looking annoyed while waiting all squashed up at the stage for the performances to begin. The only redeeming thing is whenever this happens you are annoyed, but then the Queens come out and they are so thankful for the support and are so amazing and gorgeous on stage that you instantly forget how annoyed you were. I’ve seen queens tour here with different companies (e.g Bianca) and everything has run to schedule, so hopefully these guys can figure a schedule out that works/pleases everyone.

So if you are thinking of seeing Haus of Edwards all together or even as individuals, do. I love these 3 Queens. You are guaranteed a high energy, leave everything on the stage performance that will most likely have at least one death drop or jump split and who doesn’t want to see that?

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